Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Arresting the spread of HIV /AIDS: The Male Responsibility

Article: Olive Shisana & Alicia Davids 2004;82:812

Heterosexual contact being the primary reason behind spread of HIV, in patriarchal societies there is very little scope for women to negotiate prevention of HIV. Unlike contraceptive responsibility for population control being borne by women at large, the need of the hour is for the men to recognize that they are the transmitting agents of this infection. This is not to be taken as blame rather than a shared concern and not to be condemned rather than taking the challenge on them. While it is less probable to do away with cultural norms and practices of multiple sexual partners in a day, the ABC (Abstinence, Be faithful and use a Condom) formulae of HIV prevention remains the only alternative. Also discriminating laws against women like adultery being a female crime along with allowance for men to have multiple partners takes away women's rights over their own body given the threat of HIV in this century.

Udaya S Mishra. Associate Fellow, Centre for Development Studies, Prasanth Nagar Rd, Ulloor, Trivandrum 695 011, Kerala, India (email: mishra@cds.ac.in)